Thursday, July 28, 2011

In favour with the Murdochs

The last Private Eye contained the following intriguing story:

  "One of the most glowing encomia in the final edition of the News of the World came from Sara Payne, mother of Sarah, whose murder in 2000 kicked off the paper's 'Name and Shame' campaign that made Rebekah Brooks' reputation.
  "As well as announcing, in the manner of a defendant at one of Stalin's show trials, that 'rumours turned out to be untrue that I and my fellow charity chiefs had our phones hacked,' Payne heaped paise on the paper's staff.  'The News of the World and more improtantly the people there became my very good and trusted friends.  And like all good friends they have stuck with me through the good and the bad.'
  "This is true.  In fact, so concerned were several of Payne's genuine friends on the paper at her appearance when she limped into the office - she suffered a devastating stroke just over 18 months ago, walks with a stick and remains both physically and mentally frail - that they tried to persuade her to turn around and be driven straight back home again on the grounds that she was too poorly to be there.
  "Payne, however, insisted that she must stay because 'Rebekah phoned me and told me to come in.  She said she was calling in her favour.'"

Well, there may now be some doubt as to whether Sara Payne had any 'genuine friends on the paper', as it turns out that the paper was, in fact, hacking her phone.